Humanizing Internal Comms Platforms at AGCO


Philippa Weare

Reimagining the Employee Experience

How do you marry the employee experience with a digital platform, without losing the human touchpoints? At AGCO, Philippa has been doing just that. In this session, you’ll learn about her strategic vision and how it is being brought to life for employee onboarding through Firstup and the role automation has played in making it faster.

Video Transcript

– So, for us at AGCO, we’ve got these frameworks, but we can see that great employee experience drives a massive, sort of delivers engaged employees. And with AGCO, if we’ve got engaged employees, they’re proud, they’ve got a huge sense of pride in their work. They’ve got a huge sense of doing the right thing for our customers. And what we see is that the customer satisfaction goes up because we’re delivering great customer experiences. We’re really investing in our people. We’re making sure that we’ve got a compelling suite of products and services to continually engage and delight the market. You know, we’re in a really tough competition. We’ve got the likes of John Deere. We’ve got the likes of Caterpillar in certain sectors that are really competing with us. So, we need to make sure that we’re continually competing. And to do that we really are investing in experience. And that experience is translating into our bottom line because customers are choosing to reinvest into AGCO. They’re choosing AGCO as their supplier of agricultural machinery and solutions. And we have some amazing brands like Fendt and Massey Ferguson and Grain & Protein and Valtra, Precision Act and Digital. These are like global brands that are really keeping the wheels of AGCO churning. And all of that ends up with greater profitability for our organization. And that means that we can continue to invest in our employees moving forward. And then, we get a lower churn and then it’s just happy, happy days. So, it’s a really important part of what we do. And that framework of culture really underpins everything to give us that boundary so we know what we are operating within. And I think this just really sums it up. You know, you can have a sort of an optimized CX, that generates loyalty and additional sales as you can see. But if you’ve got a stellar EX and a stellar CX, that CX and EX, you’ve got sort of increased revenues, profitability, you’ve got less churn. All of it is just a no-brainer. So, we work really closely with the CX team at AGCO to drive those results for the business. So, one of the things that we do a lot of work on is really sort of understanding our audience. And we’ve been able to do that a lot with the data coming out of Our Field. But also, we’ve been looking and working, we work very closely with other providers like Qualtrics. So, there’s some real big ticket research that’s come out recently. Just looking at how the field of employee experience is changing. And as you can see here, there’s like four big, big areas that resonate with us at AGCO hugely. So, if we look at it about setting boundaries, you know, a lot of people say 2023 is the year that employees are taking control. You know, they’re starting to say, “This is how we want to work. This is what we expect from an organization.” They’re restructuring their relationship with work and they’re getting smarter at understanding what they need. And in turn, so are we as an organization. And I guess this is all in the wake of the disruption of the past few years. So, the boundaries is something that is really important and we’re really looking at in detail at AGCO. And then similarly, we’re also looking at, you know, for example, if people take leave. You know, if you’re on leave, then you should be on leave. And the peoples you know, they’re still turning up green on Teams and all those sorts of things. But, you know, and a lot of organizations, vacation does mean vacation. You need that downtime to rest and recharge and bring yourself back up to where you need to be. I guess a sense of purpose is huge for us at AGCO. We have a really strong purpose. It’s a noble one. It’s farmer-focused solutions to sustainably feed our world. And for that, that resonates really, really deeply with our employees. And that really, that sort of drives our EVP. You know, you want a sense of pride. You wanna feel like this is really important. I mean, when we did the annual survey, which I look after for AGCO. So, I think it was 88% of our employees said that they were proud to work for AGCO. And that’s a really good marker for us. It’s a really good indicator. Confidence is huge as well. We all live in turbulent times. So, we need to make sure that we’ve got, when employees come in, they wanna know that they’ve chosen the right ship. They wanna know that they’re gonna get paid at the end of the month, and of course they are at AGCO. But it’s really important that there’s that strength in leadership. And leadership are also very much engaged in driving the whole experience. And I’m happy to say that our leaders are very, very engaged on the Our Field platform. And for any of you looking at it or thinking of looking at it, I would say that’s one of the big, big areas to get leaders in from the get-go because that really inspires people. And culture starts with leadership. Engagement starts with leadership. I guess the last point is about processes. There was recently an article on Forbes actually, which I shared into Our Field in when talking. But there was an article on processes. And it said it’s one of the main drivers for mental health and really affecting mental health in a bad way at work. You think about how much time we spend sometimes in some organizations trying to do expenses, trying to get new hires in, get people onboarded. And it takes far too long. So, that needs to be right, front and center. And we are investing really, really heavily so that we’ve got a real sort of joined up, seamless way of doing things. I was listening to Swissport talk earlier and they were saying they had these multiple systems in, and that’s tough. That is tough. And you have to actually cut through that to bring it back down to basics and just focus on what matters. Talking of what matters. I mean, we talk a lot about moments that matter. But I think just to support this, there are two major aspects to this because you’ve got workplace influences. So, those are your culture and your values and your purposes and your frameworks, and all those sorts of things. And then you’ve got your personal influences. We’re all living life, we’re all experiencing life. So, we all have to be cognizant of that in the experience landscape that we can react to that in a way that we’ve gotta recognize that work and… I guess work and workforces, they are growing more complex. There’s no undisputing that. I mean, I think it is, there’s a lot of noise, a lot of complexity. But we’ve gotta be, we’ve got to recognize that there are different things at play here. So, employees are experiencing these critical moments on a continual basis across the physical, human and digital dimensions. And that is something that we really focus on at AGCO. And we’ve got our field supporting many of these. You know, imagine well, I mean, look here when we say a new app. You know, bringing that in really alleviated a lot of the pain about communicating because we couldn’t communicate with our frontline. We’ve got, I mean, we could be at posters and face-to-face briefings, but we have 25,000 employees worldwide and half of those are on the front line. So, we had to find a mechanism to be able to communicate with them. And we’re running at about 80% registrations on office workers and less than that with the Shop Floor. But it is rising on a daily basis. And what’s happening is word of mouth. So, people are getting really excited about it and talking about it, which is great. And we also brought them into the annual survey for the first time, so it’s much easier for them to get in because they got proper user IDs to get into some of these systems, which otherwise they hadn’t been able to get into. So, and I think as well, you know, the human touch points. So, we do do a lot of regular feedback sessions. We do one-to-one sessions. We’re about to launch, Neon is the New Employee Onboarding Network. So, that will be a network for our monthly cohort of new hires coming in that will really forge those connections. You know, we talked about connections this morning and really sort of providing, again, another framework for people to take advantage of and really operate with them. So I think with all of this is that, you know, what we can see within AGCO is employees want to shape their employee experiences on their terms. And it’s about giving employees a set of options, like a toolkit as to how best to do that. And that toolkit is designed to enable them to reach their full potential, to drive business value like we showed at the top of the chat here with that chart around the link between EX and CX and RONA. And then from there, we can support with first class digital tech stack. And that is, you know, that includes Our Field from Firstup. That’s a huge component along with the success factors, which is our HR Information System along with Microsoft 365 environment. Because we’ve got the integrations with Our Field, you know, the quick links are there. We can quickly access the information that matters. It’s not just the moments that matter, but it’s the information that matters. And that’s been a real game changer for us and that’s delivering a really good digital experience for employees. So, just touch on this bit. I think is just the moments that matter is just one piece. So, the culture is absolutely huge for us. At AGCO we have a pyramid. Not a human pyramid, but we have a pyramid. And that pyramid, at the bottom is the experiences. I didn’t put it on here ’cause I’m running outta space. But our experiences shape our beliefs that drive our actions, that deliver our results. So that is a really, really strong framework. And within that framework of culture, we have lots of moments that matter and we have lots of human touch points. We’re rolling out training face-to-face training to all of our people managers. We’ve done that in the first charge. We’re now doing all employees. It’s a massive investment for us. Not just office workers, but the Shop Floor as well. Our employee value proposition, I’ve spoken about that. That absolutely is fundamental. That’s got to reflect the intended experience both internally and externally. And then, whether you get all of that right, it’s about the engagement, is the outcome of all these experiences as well. I mean, I won’t go through on screen here, but you can see, you know, you gotta be careful that you don’t, you keep all those in balance. I think that’s just some advice I would give that we, you do sort of match it all up. That you give all of those three areas sort of equal focus just to make sure you’ve got a good balance with your strategy. And then from that, you’ve got your compelling tech stack and that gives you the real sort of holistic approach. And that, if you get that holistic approach right, which I think we do not too bad a job at AGCO. That will basically improve overall experience. And we measure engagement through the annual survey and we’re running at about 70%. So, we’ve got a target of 75% by 2025. Do I think we’ll get there? Absolutely. But it’s really important that you’ve got some targets. I would recommend setting targets and sharing those. I think people like to have a goal to aim for and actually have the frameworks to deliver against those. And all of this is underpinned with the personalization, the integration and the automation that is so important to making all this happen. And then, this is a lovely team. I think that’s customer service team in South America. So, personalization is key to our experience strategy. We do see it as the hallmark. And we segment and we can segment our audience now and we can, they can opt in and opt out what they want to receive on Our Field. We don’t have to worry that they’re getting spammed with multiple emails. So, they’re really in a situation now where we can target messages really effectively. And of course, we’ve got this sort of auto translate language for us, which is a game changer. And I think our own extended workforce, it covers multiple cultures, it’s multiple territories, it’s multiple roles. So, we have to bear all of that into, take it into account. And one size does not fit all. We’ve gotta be mindful as to how we actually deliver this. And that’s where Our Field has been a real game changer helping us to deliver it. But I think just if you want to deliver these choices I mentioned earlier and deliver these experiential choices to employees. We focus on three main things. So, the first one is employees know what they want. They’re gonna tell you. And we invest heavily along with the platform of Our Field, we also invest heavily in Qualtrics that runs our listening program. So, we survey once a year globally and we support with Lifecycle and poll surveys going forward. And they will tell us what they want. We’re not sort of like flying blind saying, “Okay, we’ll run down that road because it sounds like a good idea.” It’s not all about snooze pods and bouncy balls. This is about employee experience. It’s about what matters. The BBC was saying earlier, it is about your pay and benefits, your total rewards, your communications, customer focus. They want to know about these things. And it’s not just running the survey and say, “Okay, yeah. We heard you.” You’ve actually gotta act on it. So, Our Field’s been great for us because we’ve set up dedicated topics, we’ll share those in a second, but we’ve had all that information, transparently sharing results. We’re not gonna hide behind anything. And speed as well, you know, get this information out fast. But the other thing is that they’re sharing their voice, but we’re also giving them a voice. So, we’re giving them the opportunity to share their experiences, to talk about life at AGCO. My colleague Rachel’s like, “If you ask for a Cats and Hats topic one more time, that’s it, I’m just…” But you know, sharing pictures of their pets and just sharing life journeys that they’re on, as well as the employee journey is really important. So, all of that to share, to comment, to engage, to like is great. And obviously it gives us a lot, lot of data that we can analyze as well. This, I think I slipped one up there. That’s, now, there we go. So, another component that is really big on our radar right now is passive listening just to support our listening strategy. So that’s basically looking at Viva Insights. It’s anonymized. We don’t sort of go around, sort of like delving into people’s Microsoft Teams accounts. But we can, there are ways that we can actually scrape data from internally and externally. We’re looking to pilot this later in the year and we’re working very closely with our provider on this. But also just the poll function in Our Field is useful for us just to get some additional insight quick when we need to and people can vote, et cetera. Obviously, the big areas like Glassdoor, we’ve got sort of access to that. We can see the analytics, we can see brand sentiment. We have agencies that we work with that can actually measure sentiment. We have a little dashboard. We wanna end in the green the whole time. Looking at CEO ratings. All of that really, really matters in helping to drive the EVP, the brand and also the wellbeing of our employees. And actually we’re just about to launch, I think it’s today or tomorrow, we’ve just shortened the default meeting times at AGCO from 60 down to 50 and from 30 to 25 because people are just in back to back meetings. And it’s like, I think there’s research out at the moment from Microsoft where you’ve got these sort of terrible images of the brain, that if you don’t get a break for even 5, 10 minutes, you are starting to get frazzled, your synapses are just misfiring and you’re not taking information in, your productivity goes down. So, that’s coming in. The third bit we look at is really, is an omnichannel approach. You can see here with Our Field, we can do the push notifications, we’ve got mobile, we’ve got desktop, we’ve set up specific topics, we’ve deliver the content to meet our employees in where they are. We’re not arrogant saying, you know, sort of like it’s, you’ve gotta do this, that and the other, you’ve got to go here. But what we have done, and this is just a word of advice, is where you’re looking to implement Our Field, one thing that was a game changer for us is that we turned off all competing news channels. And you’ll find if you’re in a big organization, there’s some local intranets and people hang onto them like security blankets. So, you have to be quite brutal and say, right, everything’s, you know, and then you’ve got the single source of truth. So, that’s really, really important. I think one of the, the sort of main newest topics on Our Field. I just wanna share with you guys. I know that Nicole mentioned it this morning, is that we are working with Firstup to support our revamped onboarding strategy. Across AGCO we do onboarding brilliantly in some areas. Not so brilliantly, she said very politically, in others. So, within that we’ve totally revamped how we’re going to do onboarding and we are now setting up new topics. We’ve got a pre-hire portal, which is great because we do lose a lot of, well not we, but you can lose a lot of talent from saying yes to desk. So, there’s a very, it’s a real competitive marketplace. So, everything we can do to nurture that talent the minute they accept the offer is important to us, and Firstup is helping us to build that out. And we’ve got sort of workflows that you can sort of trigger through and sort of like welcome, and videos, and all those sorts of things. And of course, you’ve got the integration side of it. So, that’s a really sort of important piece for us moving forward. As far as this is kind of, this is a horrible green markup. It’s not meant to be green. Not quite sure what happened there. But we are building it out. It’s not actually launched yet, but we hope to have a visual next week. So, Ashley is supporting us. Thank you, Ashley. From a sort of a Firstup perspective along with Lisa LaVan. And we’re really excited of what the future is gonna bring with this, so stay tuned as they say, ’cause we’ll be shouting about it and getting excited. I think just some of the human touch points. I mentioned NEON. This is a really sort of new initiative for us. It will be face-to-face where we can, but also it will be through teams. We’ve got sort of great sort of icebreaker bots and all those sorts of things going into there. Some fun stuff, a bit of Bollywood if I can get them all going. We have buddy programs and we also, it sounds trivial, but we have invested heavily in Swag and we see loads of pictures popping up from new hires on Our Field that say, “Got this box. It’s so amazing.” And also that they’ve got, they post into social media as well. So, if you lift up the lid of that it’s got our purpose on the lid. So, that really helps to reinforce the brand promise to perspective and current talent. And then, if we get it all right, which I think we are, our journey at AGCO, our experience looks something like this. So, this is kind of the first sort of 30, 60, 90 days at AGCO and then you move into experience. And you’ve got lots of different touch points. And this is where we do try and reimagine experience. We want to constantly bring new features into the light. You know, we’ve got some amazing brands. We do a lot of work in the community. We do a lot of work around sustainability. So, the more that we can actually get our employees involved in that, the better. And the more that we can bring the customer to them is another compelling reason why Firstup was such a success story for us and continues to grow with us as an organization ’cause we can bring those stories to life if employees physically don’t have those customer touchpoints. So, summing all this up, I guess that we recognize that today is, we do have a diverse workforce, but there are generational similarities across that workforce. I mean, if we look at the data from Voices, again, our annual survey. We can see that the Generation Zs, they want the same great career opportunities but they wanna balance that with wellbeing. So that’s a trend that we’re seeing across multiple segments of the organization. And I think that forward thinking companies like AGCO, if you get it all right and acknowledge that there are increasingly diverse and liquid expectations, but through this holistic view you can, you can deliver if you take into account all the workplace and the personal and human experiences. If you get that right, which we work really hard to do in AGCO, then you do end up with, we are reimagining employee experience and we are ending up with what we hope and we see is end user greatness and some winning outcomes against our culture. So…

– [Host] I think we’re gonna open the questions. So, we’re running strict on time, so we probably have time for two short questions or one long question. Who wants to? Who wants to volunteer? Yes. All right, David. And you have to use the mic because people need to get the recording.

– [David] Tell us a little bit more about the employee journey. I saw the passport stamps and everything. It sounds like you’ve very much-

– Yeah.

– Engaged the workforce with some level of gamification.

– Yeah, so the passport mechanism, I mean at the triangle, there’s a whole bunch of those triangles. There it is. That’s the AGCO Passport. So, we’re treating them like NFTs. They’re going into the sort of digital ecosphere of AGCO. So, you collect them along the way. It’s a bit like Pokemon, so you gotta catch ’em all. And that will mean that we’ve got a sort of structured onboarding program that’s so, but there’s a lot of integration work with MS365, which is pretty much there at the moment. But yeah, it’s an exciting development for us as an organization.

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